George Jack: Background as parent instead of one in education a big asset
George Jack doesn’t have a formal background in education, but he thinks that will make him an asset to the school board.
“(As) a parent, a citizen, someone coming in from the outside, I think that I can look at everything – the budget, the way the school board deals with teachers and unions, and teachers deal with parents – every single issue with totally fresh eyes,” he said.
Jack, 45, has a third-grade daughter at Broken Ground School and a 1-year-old at home. He is a work-from-home dad who does client services for a publishing company based in Massachusetts. He first
decided to stay at home so he could be more involved in his daughter’s education, and he thinks the school board is a good place to continue that involvement. He’s also an author of children’s poetry and books.
Much of Jack’s interest in and impression of the school system relates directly to his daughter’s experiences. As a result of the elementary school project, for example, his daughter has gone through four different elementary schools: Eastman, Dame, Mill Brook and Broken Ground.
“That was kind of the first glimpse or taste of how the budget or the school system in general was changing so fast,” he said in a recent interview with the Monitor. “The first time she went to another school I didn’t go, ‘Well, I’m going to run and find out what’s going on,’ but I gradually began to get more interested in that kind of thing.”
Through his daughter, Jack has also seen the changes in classroom technology and how the school handles refugee students. Although Broken Ground doesn’t have as much access to technology as Mill Brook, he said both schools seem to have handled the implementation of technology smoothly. On refugee students, he said his daughter’s teachers always share positive messages and encourage students to be friendly and helpful to new students from other countries.
On the budget, Jack said he thinks the board has done a good job of keeping spending levels in check while making important investments. He thinks having a hand in the budget would be a fulfilling way to represent his ward and his child.
On Common Core State Standards, the new set of English language and math standards, he said it will be important to see how it could impact the budget, and it may be too early to tell whether the standards are a good or bad thing. Overall, he said he’s not a fan of national education standards, but if the schools are moving forward with the standards, it’s important to make sure they are prepared.
Jack said although he’s never been an educator, he has experience going into schools through his work as a children’s author and a personal interest in his daughter’s education.
“I’m a tremendously enthusiastic person when it comes to all things New Hampshire, children (and) taxpayer-wise,” he said.
Street: Jennifer Drive
Job: Client services for a publishing company